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Author: Cremony, John Carey, 1815-1879; Roman, Anton, 1828-1903
Subject: Apache Indians; Indians of North America -- Southwest, New
Publisher: San Francisco, New York, A. Roman & company
Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT
Call number: ucb_banc:GLAD-33580
Digitizing sponsor: MSN
Book contributor: University of California Libraries
Collection: cdl; americana
Full catalog record: MARCXML
This book has an editable web page on Open Library.
George D. Oarrish -
Subject: Life Among the Apaches, John C. Cremony
Cremony (1815-1879) met the Apaches first as an enemy but became their greatest advocate. His opportunity to observe them closely was unique. It may have been the only time near the peak of their powers that a white man could have survived within their territory long enough to get to know them. Cremony recognized their primitive virtues as well as their savage flaws. He never idealized them but he admired and respected them as enemies and eventually as friends. He was uniquely qualified by disposition to do so and write about his experiences among the Apache people before guns and government overwhelmed them. It seems unlikely that anything as accurate has been written about the Apache character and way of life. His observations confirm the extraordinary quality of their horsemanship, stealth, stamina, and ferocity but Life Among the Apaches also tells more about their private lives than everything else I’ve read combined.
Cremony’s accounts of his person experiences, conflicts and close calls, were the stuff of action adventure worthy of an epic movie but it is his insights into Apache beliefs and thought were most remarkable. See Chapters XV and XX especially. This book should be regarded as an essential reference for any new study of Apache history or anthropology. After Sibley’s Confederate were defeated in New Mexico the California Union army volunteers were assigned to New Mexico to protect the inhabitants from “Indian outrage.” “What the Confederates failed to appropriate the Apaches had destroyed.” The Apache and Navaho were suppressed and Cremony and the California cavalry of which Cremony was a member were assigned guard duty at the Bosquo Rodondo reservation in the Pecos region. It was there that he served the Apaches so well as their friend and intermediary saving them from starvation and constant dangerous misunderstanding. He lived in their midst and studied them. He compiled “the only vocabulary of the Apache language in existences.” The Apache language included a fully adequate decimal system. His commanding officer General Carleton “sent the manuscript to the Smithsonian Institution.” His descriptions of the Bosquo Rodondo as it was then fills one with painful regret the passing of so much wild beauty.
I was over half way through The Timeless Land when I started Life Among the Apaches. The differences between Australian aborigines and Apaches seem at least as significant as the similarities. White men were new to the coastal Australian aborigines in the 1770s and they still trusted them. The dessert Apaches first encountered white men hundreds of years before and no longer trusted them in the 1830s. By 1840 the aborigines no longer trusted them either. The aborigines were gentler people than the Apaches. Their costal environment was much friendlier than the Apaches’ dessert where survival was always in question; that difference may also have contributed something to the higher level of hostility between the Apaches and invading strangers. All primitive people love bright color and displays of status as evidence of fitness. Where life is hardest is where the least attention is given to reciprocity; altruism is less likely than revenge. Cremony wrote “… although one may feel wholly guiltless of act or intention against the savages, he is held strictly by them for the acts and intentions of his predecessors.” “In the desire to do them good we have done them the most harm. In the hope of excising their savage defect we have inoculated them with the most terrible vices.”
If the Apaches had been able to turn from raiding to trading and moved beyond tribal rivalry and cooperation to effective government there would be an Apache nation between the USA and Mexico today. If the “five civilized tribes” of the Southeast … If the Iroquois… If the Sioux…
|Copyright-evidence:||Evidence reported by marcus lucero for item lifeamongapaches00cremrich on October 10, 2006: no visible notice of copyright; stated date is 1868.|
|Filesxml:||Thu Mar 18 4:15:12 UTC 2010|